Wednesday, December 5, 2007

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I've been working away on the striped border scarf from Victorian Lace Today, in Sea Silk. This morning, I knit the last couple of repeats to finish the first border and picked up the stitches to start on the main body.

That was a nice milestone to reach to send me whistling off to work for the day. It felt pretty good... for about 30 seconds.

What about those edges? The cast-off along the left side seemed to be drawing up more than it should. Would it be improved by having another go with a bigger needle? I was considering that when I noticed that the cast-on along the right side didn't exactly have the same problem. Hmmm. Left side, right side.

Left side...

Right side...

Oh, bother.

That right side was definitely a little loose and wobbly. Flabby, in fact. I was new to the crocheted cast-on method (not the provisional one, this one); it could use another try. But it was the cast-on edge! The very beginning of the project! To do anything about it, I would have to unravel the entire thing. I said to myself, surely it wasn't important enough for that. Surely I could live with it. Surely...

Looking deep inside, I asked myself. And myself answered. It said, "Don't call me Shirley." (It's very fond of silly movies.) But it was adamant. My knitting projects are not perfect. I'm certainly not the world's best knitter; I have plenty still to learn. But if I think I know of a way to make it better, I can't live with not giving it a try. I have to make it the best I know how.

When, as often happens, I've made a mistake eight rows back and have to redo all that work, I might moan a little bit to world's-most-patient-husband, looking for sympathy. He'll just laugh and say, "you know you love it." He may have a point. I know it's all part of the progress toward a result I'll be happy with. But sometimes a little more forward and a little less backward would be nice!

Of course I pulled out the whole cotton-picking thing. There was some comfort in noticing along the way that I'd made another mistake in the very first row, leaving out a row of plain knit before the pattern repeats began. So at least that gave me more than one reason for pulling it out right back to the beginning. This evening I got back to work, casting on with a smaller crochet hook and a firmer touch. I've gotten more comfortable altogether with this yarn, no longer coddling it with a limp-fish grip, but handling it briskly and decisively, letting it know I'm boss. (Just in case it contemplated slithering into some slack and undisciplined amoeba-like shape.) It's all been good practice, anyway.

So I'm now about halfway through re-creating the border. I think it's better. I hope it's coming out more evenly this time. But, if nothing else, at least I'll know I tried.

1 comment:

Mary said...

You know you'll be happier for the frogging and reknitting.

There's a woman in my knitting group who calls herself the "frequent frogger" -- she basically frogs everything she knits at least once, and often four, five, or six times. Yet she persists, and her FOs are just beautiful.

I have some silk in my stash, but I don't think I've ever knit with (almost) 100% silk, and I have heard that it's not as forgiving as wool, so I would think that the froggings could be considered practice swatches, in order for one to get to know the behavior of the yarn better.

I will remember your lessons when I finally dive into my Seasilk for something....